Are you worried about your Microsoft Office 365 data? Have you ever wondered the question “Does Microsoft Backup Office 365? And if so then how often do they do it? , there are a lot of questions the users might have when it comes to the backup options provided by Microsoft for Office 365.
In this article, we will be discussing how often does Microsoft Backup Office 365 data and other backup and data retention policies of Office 365 are.
Does Microsoft Backup Office 365- Policies and Practices
Microsoft does provide a backup solution for the data in Office 365. But they have structured it in such a way that it’s a shared responsibility of both Microsoft and the user. They provide a partial backup solution using data retention. Let us take a look at the cases one by one.
Microsoft does provide a physical form of security when it comes to its data centers. They make sure that their servers don’t have any kind of hardware vulnerabilities that a potential attacker can take advantage of. Also, the location of the servers are such that it is secured with access to only people that are employed for maintenance.
Microsoft does keep copies of the data in case one of them fails. For example, they keep a copy of the data on their main servers and one copy locally on a server that is the closest to the user so that the user can easily access it without any delay.
They ensure that the necessary privacy controls are kept in check for the servers while promising an uptime of 99.9 %. So that the users can access their data whenever they need it.
If a hardware failure occurs. Maybe if one of the servers fails due to any reason like due a natural disaster or a power outage. Then Microsoft does take accountability for it and recovers your data for you. They also do take responsibility for any software failures like the Operating system crashing or other software failures.
But they don’t account for any data loss that might happen from the user’s side. Like accidental deletion of important data by the user after the retention period.
For Exchange Online users, the deleted mailboxes are retained by Microsoft. Up to 30 days for mailboxes and 14 days for individual deleted items. The admin can increase the individual deleted items up to 30 days.
As we have answered the question “does Microsoft Backup Office 365 data”. We have seen that Microsoft does provide an Exchange user with some level of backup policies during the retention period. But in case of an unexpected event like a ransomware attack, or major damage to the servers then Microsoft will not be able to recover the user mailboxes. Hence it is important for the user to backup Microsoft Office locally for the user’s safety.
Let us look at some of the unexpected troubles that could cause the data in the mailbox to be inaccessible.
What are Some Reasons to Have a Backup Microsoft Office Locally?
As we have previously discussed there are many situations that might arise where Microsoft simply doesn’t cover the integrity of your data. Some of the major common ones are as given below.
- Ransomware Attacks: In case of a security threat like a ransomware attack if the user accidentally gives provides the threat access to their account then, it can infect their Office 365 emails. The only way to get out of this situation without paying a huge amount as ransomware is if the user has a recent backup of their account that they can restore from.
- Office 365 Outage: Even tho Microsoft does promise an uptime of 99.9%. There are situations when an unexpected server crashes that might cause an Office 365 Outage. In a situation like if the user wants to have access to their data then having a local backup of Office 365 is crucial.
- Hard Deletion of Data: The user can’t use the retention period to recover the data if they do a hard deletion of the data. This can be a major problem if the user have accidentally does a hard deletion of some crucial data.
How to Backup Office Using Manual Methods?
One of the best ways to not worry about Microsoft’s backup policies and not rely on them is to have a local backup. There are mainly 2 ways that we can use to backup Office 365 locally.
One is a manual method that involves using Microsoft Outlook and the next one is using a professional tool. Let us start with the manual method
How to Backup Office 365 Manually Using Outlook?
In this method, we use Microsoft Outlook to backup Office 365 locally a PST file.
To perform this we have to configure the Office 365 mailbox in Outlook first and then export the data as a PST file using Outlook.
Steps to Backup Office 365 Manually
- Setup your Office 365 account in Outlook
- Open the file menu from the left top corner once the configuration is done.
- Go to the import/export menu.
- In the next window select the export option and click on next.
- Choose to export the data in PST format.
- Check on the folder and subfolders that you want to backup.
- Browse and select a path to save the PST file.
Once the process gets over your Office 365 data will be saved as a PST file.
Limitations Of Manual Method
- One of the disadvantages of using this method is that the process has to be done manually for every account. That is if we have to backup the data of a few accounts then each of the accounts has to be configured on Outlook manually and then converted into a PST file.
- The backed-up PST files can’t be split into smaller files based on size. This is a very important feature since PST files are known to be fragile and are corrupted easily.
- Outlook doesn’t have any date filters that can be used to back up emails only from a specific time period.
How to Not Worry About “Does Microsoft Backup Office 365”
From the above, we have seen that using the manual methods does have its limitations.
One other alternative that we can use by using a Professional Office 365 Email Backup Tool. By using this tool the backup process is much more streamlined and easy. The tool also provides a host of new features that helps the users while backing up and restoring the data.
Steps to Backup Office 365 Using Professional Tool
- Click on the above link and install the tool.
- Open the tool is opened go to the source tab and select the source as Office 365 and the destination as Microsoft Outlook to save the file as a PST file.
- From the category of files select emails.
- If required a date filter can be applied to filter and back up only a set of emails.
- Next, validate the permissions by entering the credentials of Office 365.
- Select a destination to save your PST file.
- There are 3 options, Fetch, Import, and Download Template to get the user’s info. Select the ones as per your requirement.
- Authorize the permissions to the selected accounts and click on the start migration option.
Once the process is completed Office 365 will be backed up locally.
Also read: Best Method to Transfer Office 365 Mailbox to Another Account
Some Extra Options Provided by The Tool
- Ability to schedule Office 365 backups.
- Multiple accounts can be backed up in batches.
- Support for downloading Emails, Contacts Calendars, and documents.
- Option to back up in place archive Office 365 Mailboxes.
- A date filter is available for filtering out data.
- Ability to restore backed-up data to Office 365.
Also Read: How to convert OST file to PST?
In this article, we have seen different backup policies that Microsoft provides for Office 365 users. We have discussed how often does Microsoft backup Office 365 data. As the backup policies of Microsoft are not sufficient enough considering the importance of data in the mailboxes we have seen 2 different methods by which we can back up Office 365 data locally. Since it could be difficult to execute the manual method we recommend using the above-mentioned tool for the same.